Bringing The World Home To You

© 2021 WUNC North Carolina Public Radio
120 Friday Center Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
919.445.9150 | 800.962.9862
91.5 Chapel Hill 88.9 Manteo 90.9 Rocky Mount 91.1 Welcome 91.9 Fayetteville 90.5 Buxton
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

United Grounds Some Boeing 777 Jets After Engine Failure

Pieces of an engine from United Airlines Flight 328 sit scattered in a neighborhood after the jet's engine failure on Saturday after takeoff from Denver.
Pieces of an engine from United Airlines Flight 328 sit scattered in a neighborhood after the jet's engine failure on Saturday after takeoff from Denver.

United Airlines suspended the use of older model Boeing 777 jets after an engine failed shortly after takeoff in Colorado on Saturday, raining debris on suburban Broomfield, Colo.

The temporary measure applies to Boeing 777 models that are powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines,United announced on Twitter.

Boeing recommended that the airplanes remain out of the sky until the Federal Aviation Administration "identifies the appropriate inspection protocol." There are 69 such planes currently in service and 59 others in storage, the company said in a statement.

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson ordered the agency's aviation safety experts on Sunday to issue an emergency airworthiness directive and called for "immediate or stepped-up inspections" of the Boeing 777 jets equipped with certain Pratt & Whitney 4000 engines.

Dickson also said the agency will increase inspections of the hollow fan blades unique to the engine used in the plane that had engine failure over the weekend.

The FAA met with representatives from Boeing and Pratt & Whitney on Sunday to finalize the details of the directive and to determine the full scope of the order. More details will be released later.

The Japan Civil Aviation Bureau also halted this particular aircraft with Pratt & Whitney engines from flying.

Boeing said, "We are working with these regulators as they take actions while these planes are on the ground and further inspections are conducted by Pratt & Whitney."

Saturday's Honolulu-bound United flight made an emergency landing at Denver International Airport. None of the 231 passengers and 10 crew members on board was injured. No people on the ground reported injuries either.

Boeing 777 jets have been in the air since the 1990s. The aircraft has used engines produced by General Electric and Rolls-Royce, but the FAA order would apply only to those planes with the Pratt & Whitney engine.

NPR's Southern Bureau Chief Russell Lewis contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

More Stories